Forensic Neuropsychological Evaluation

Definition:

Forensic neuropsychologists rely on knowledge of brain-behavior relationships to help address a legal question. Forensic neuropsychological evaluations are typically requested when there is a reason to believe that brain injury and/or deficits in one's thinking ability may play a role in an individual's functioning relevant to a legal question or circumstance. Forensic neuropsychologists should be trained in both forensic and neuropsychological assessment and practice. 


 

What to expect: 

 

MFNC can assess the presence and severity of brain pathology in individuals with confirmed or suspected brain injury, document the extent of functional deficits, discuss potential causes of the deficits, review the impact that such an injury may have on competence or daily functioning, and note a potential prognosis. Much like other forms of assessment conducted by MFNC, an evaluation includes a record review, testing, interviews, observations, a clear and comprehensive integrated report, and verbal feedback, as well as potential testimony, about the rendered opinions. 

 

Although many of the reasons for referral and procedures may overlap with forensic psychological assessment, forensic neuropsychological evaluations specifically involve asessement (usually via paper-and-pencil and computerized tests) of brain and/or personality functioning as they may relate to one's legal proceedings. 


 

Additional information: 

 

Examples of situations in which forensic neuropsychological evaluation and expert opinions may be useful:  

 

Criminal forensic neuropsychological evaluations

  •   Criminal responsibility (e.g., to assess the validity of claims of amnesia during alleged offense)
  •   Trial competence (e.g., to determine IQ and/or assess for dementia as either may relate to competence and/or           restorability)
  •   Atkins evaluations 
  •   Risk assessment 
  •   Presentencing evaluations 

 

Civil forensic neuropsychological evaluations

  •  Evaluations for tort claims (e.g.,  negligent infliction of emotional harm, psychological injuries, malpractice)
  •  Fitness-for-duty (e.g., to determine if cognitive deficits are affecting an individual's ability to perform their job adequately)
  •  Independent Medical/Psychological Examinations (e.g., to determine the validity, and/or extent, of reported cognitive        and/or psychological deficits, to provide a timeline of events and explore potential causal reasons for a client's condition).
  •  Disability evaluations
  •  Capacity evaluations (e.g., testamentary)
  •  Guardianship/conservatorship evaluations